Talking Over a Fire...
Talking Over a Fire...4 mins 5 4 mins 5
"I thought you said that you would let anything get in your way...".
"I didn't let anything, I let someone.".
Silence followed, it allowed the crackles of the fire in front of us to fill the air.
Next, he motions his hand towards his pocket before pulling out a worn out photo. Creases and folds rule the photo, both horizontally and vertically.
"I let her get in my way..." He says under his breath.
Once again, silence followed.
"How old was she?... If I may ask?" I ask him.
He looks up at me, I notice the way his eyes are bloodshot. Although his eyes are not too red, I can still see a light rose colour around his pupils and iris. The reason I can only assume is tiredness.
"She was twenty-six..." He replies, still looking at me.
"How old are you again?" I ask him. I see his eyes on me, causing me to wonder whether I should have even asked him that question.
"What's my age of any relevance to this?" He asks I notice annoyance in his tone. One thing I managed to pick up about this man is that he gets angered and annoyed pretty easily.
"I... I don't know" I say before I divert my gaze down to the dirt in front of me.
Seconds later, I move my eyes up back to him just to see that his eyes are still on me.
"For your information, I am thirty years of age..." He replies.
Silence once again descends upon us whilst we look at each other.
"How old are you?" He asks me.
Seconds later, I reply, "I just turned twenty-four...".
Again, silence. The only audible sound is the crackling of the wood that is burning in the fire.
"So you are still in College, I assume?" He says. For the first time today, I hear some sort of softness and care in his voice.
But I ignore the change...
I simply nod to his words.
"What do you study?" He questions.
"Performing arts. I have an aspiration to become an actor. Had it ever since I was twelve, that was when I signed up to a drama class..." I reply. "You? I would assume that you are done with college?" I ask.
He just shakes his head. "I dropped out..." He replies. "School was just too much for me... It was a whole load of-" he stops himself before going any further. "A whole load of you know what...".
"I hope you know that I don't mind cursing... I, myself, tend to cuss like a sailor..." I say, to which he chuckles, before diverting his eyes down to ground.
"You cuss like a sailor you say?..." He asks me.
"Well, yes..." I reply.
"Then how come I haven't heard you cuss at least once during these three days of you being by my side?..." He asks.
"Well..." I begin, searching for an answer. He got me good.
"Well what?" He asks. I see that he is amused.
"Well... It's not too ladylike of a woman to cuss now, is it?".
"True..." He begins. "But why did you then claim that you cuss like a sailor?".
"Because..." I say.
"Because why?" He asks.
"Because I simply do. When I am alone, I cuss... I am pretty sure that you cuss when you are by yourself too. Correct me if I am wrong," I say, I can't help but express some annoyance to how annoying his constant questioning about my cursing has become.
I see a small smirk grow on his lips.
"Fierce one you are..." He says lowly, but loud enough that I can hear him.
"Okay, so what if I am? I am fierce by nature, something worth knowing about me...".
"You remind me of Bailee..." He says and with that, the smirk that was on his lips only seconds ago, simply... disappears.
Once again, the crackles of the fire fill the air.
I look up at him, he seems to be in the depths of his thoughts. I mean, in this situation where both him and I are in, who wouldn't be?
He's thinking about her... Isn't he?
Bailee, that's her name, isn't it?
Before I could stop the words, they come out. "That was her name, right?".
He shoots his gaze up to me. "Sorry?".
"That was her name, Bailee, right? That woman on your photograph...".
He simply nods his head.
He hitches a breath. "Looks like it's getting pretty late and tomorrow we have a lot of work to do. Let's go to sleep..." And with that, she stands up into his feet.
Where the fire once lit his face, now lights his olive green cargo work-pants.
Seconds later, he begins walking, but before he could get to his tent...
He turns towards me.
"I... I'm sorry for your loss...".
He nods before giving me a smile of appreciation. "Thank you...".
I smile back, in an action of courtesy.
"Good night, Martin...".
And with that, Martin enters his tent while I stay outside for a little while more before I too call it a night and go into my tent...